Easter is approaching, and with it come some unusual traditions around the world. For example, did you know that a traditional Nordic Easter involves crime solving? In Norway, it’s a beloved annual holiday activity. If you want to join in the fun, read on. We’ve curated a list of 12 of the best new and classic Nordic Noir crime TV shows and series streaming for your viewing pleasure this Easter season.
12 best Nordic Noir crime TV shows and series streaming this Easter
It may be getting warmer outside, but we’re always game for a little ice cold crime drama. And no, we aren’t referring to another episode of Law & Order episode of SVU. We’re talking about Nordic Noirs on tv.
There’s something about the mix of snowy backdrops, tortured detectives (many of which are refreshingly female) and intriguing plots with plenty of twists and turns that keep us on the edge of our seat and coming back for more.
With Påskekrim season aka Norwegian tradition of Easter crime solving just around the corner, we thought it would be a good idea to round up the best new and classic Scandinavian moody detective dramas and slow-burn mysteries to make this year’s Easter a little darker and twistier.Grab yourself a cozy blanket, a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate Easter bunnies, and settle in. Here’s our picks of the 12 best Scandi crime dramas to watch right now.
Warning: These may cause addiction and/or the need to sleep with one eye open. Watch your back bunnies.
12 best Nordic Noir crime TV shows and series streaming this Easter
The popular Nordic streamer Viaplay recently launched its service in the US. Among its offerings? Based on Jagvan Isaksen’s crime novels, the Danish crime drama Trom, which follows a journalist, Hannis Martinsson, who unexpectedly receives a message from Sonja, his estranged daughter, claiming that her life is in danger.
Hannis heads back home to the Faroes and discovers Sonja’s body in the bloody waters of a whale hunt. His search for answers soon brings him into conflict with the local police and uncovers a web of secrets within the close-knit community.
The Netflix series Borderliner opens with supercop Nikolai Andreassen testifying against a corrupt colleague and taking a defiant stance against misconduct in the police force in Oslo. However Nikolai’s moral compass is soon challenged. After being forced to take time off, he returns to his hometown. Where a murder has taken place that may involve his brother.
To safeguard his sibling from accusations, Andreassen attempts to cover up the case. And is soon trapped in lie after lie while blurring the lines between right and wrong.
Set in a quiet, rural fishing village on the coast of Iceland, Trapped follows the small town’s Chief of Police, Andri. He’s struggling as a single parent of two young girls while awaiting the return of his estranged wife Agnes. However, someone discovers a corpse in the harbor. And he has to put personal problems aside.
The discovery surfaces just as a storm blows in. Cutting off all access to the town and leaving its three-person police force alone to cope with a growing number of dead bodies. Available on Amazon Prime.
A standalone limited series on Netflix and a follow-up to the Icelandic investigative thriller Trapped, Entrapped follows detectives Andri and Hinrika as they investigate homicides in the beautiful highlands of Iceland.
This time they are looking into the death of a young man who belonged to a religious cult. His murder is associated with a conflict over a piece of land that is considered sacred by an Icelandic biker gang and a religious family group. Will they solve the case before a full-blown riot breaks out in the peaceful community?
5. Young Wallander
Netflix’s Young Wallander is a modern-day prequel to the popular Nordic noir crime novels by Henning Mankell.
In “Killer’s Shadow”, Kurt Wallander rejoins the Stockholm police force after the devastating loss of his supervising officer in season one to solve a seemingly straightforward hit-and-run case. But, as Wallander begins investigating with Detective Frida Rask, the case turns out to be anything but simple. The detectives soon find a connection to one of Rask’s first brutal cases as a detective, which may have further implications on Rask’s own career.
In Wisting, Detective William Wisting, is the epitome of a stoic, weatherworn Scandinavian.
Still grappling with his new life as a widower and trying to connect with his grown children, he teams up with FBI agents (Carrie-Anne Moss) sent from the U.S. to track a serial killer hiding in Norway. Available on Sundance Now/AMC+.
7. The Chestnut Man
Based on Søren Sveistrup’s novel of the same name, The Chestnut Man on Netflix is set in Copenhagen and centers around a psychopath whose calling card is a “chestnut man” – a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts – which he leaves at each crime scene. The six episode series opens with the discovery of the brutal murders of an entire family in an isolated farm in 1987.
The story then moves to present day Copenhagen. Here a a young woman is found murdered in a playground with one of her hands missing. Detective Naia Thulin is assigned to the case. With her reluctant new partner, Mark Hess, they notice a tiny figurine made of chestnuts lying next to the body. Are they connected?
8. Thin Ice
Thin Ice takes place in Greenland where a climate summit is scheduled to take place. Sweden’s foreign minister has traveled there to sign an ambitious treaty to ban all arctic drilling and help forestall the worst effects of climate change.
The Russian envoy has other ideas, and there’s a Swedish oil company doing some double-dealing a few latitude lines north. Meanwhile, a pregnant Swedish intelligence officer arrives to investigate the kidnapping of her husband. Not to mention the menacing polar bears…Available on Sundance Now.
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Malin Persson Giolito, Quicksand on Netflix centers around Maja, an 18-year old student at an elite prep school outside of Stockholm who is arrested for her involvement in a deadly school shooting.
The series, like the novel, is told from the point of view of Maja and flashes back and forth between the present day and her memories of the events that led up to the shooting. Is she the victim or is she the perpetrator? Slowly the secrets of the crime unravel. And we learn the dark truth and terrible tragedy of the events of that day. This one is heart-stopping and heartbreaking, so be ready.
This dark and gritty series follows a respected chief investigator, Kari Sorjonen after he moves from Helsinki to a small town, Lappeenranta, on the border of Finland and Russia. His hope was to enjoy a slower and simpler life with his wife and teenage daughter.
But he soon finds that he is in for anything but that. He is quickly pulled in to investigate a string of murders that are not only connected to one another, but possibly also to his family. There are currently three seasons of Bordertown available on Netflix.
Modus on PBS offers a more by-the-book Nordic crime drama. Having left the world of crime-solving behind for the world of academia, psychologist and ex-FBI profiler Inger Johanne Vik finds herself and her autistic daughter, Stina, both drawn back in following a series of disturbing deaths in Stockholm.
Working with local detective Ingvar Nyman to find the culprit, a pattern becomes evident as the number of murders increase. The series is an adaptation of the novel Frukta Inte by former Norwegian justice minister Anne Holt.
12. The Valhalla Murders
Loosely inspired by real events from the 1940’s, The Valhalla Murders chronicles an Oslo detective named Arnar. He travels from Norway to help a police officer hunt for a serial killer with a link to a mysterious photograph.
Working together with an ambitious local detective, the trail leads them to an abandoned boys’ home named Valhalla. This is where some horrifying events occurred 35 years earlier. It is a skillfully crafted crime thriller that is high on suspense and style. Available on Netflix.
best Nordic Noir TV shows and series streaming this Easter season
That’s our take on some of the best new and classic Nordic Noir crime TV shows and series streaming to watch this Easter season based on the Scandinavian tradition. We’re grabbing a cozy blanket and the good spot on the sofa. Are you in on this, dear reader?